Wednesday, May 26

Delurk Yourself!

I saw this on the blog of a fellow blogger and thought it was great.  There is even a delurking week at the beginning of year just for this, but I missed it!  What does this mean? A "lurker" is someone who reads the blog, but rarely or never comments to let me know you're out there lurking about.  A common occurrence in my life is that I see or talk to people through different outlets and they mention reading my blog.  There are fancy tools that I can find and download to track who is reading, but it would be so much more fun for YOU to tell me!  So, I'd love to hear from YOU.  Some people do comment and send me messages- perfect strangers sometimes and that is pretty cool and fun for me.  I love to hear from each of you and meet new people that have been praying for us.  Yes, I created this blog to help chronicle our life and it has done just that- and I also wanted to help keep our loved ones and others following our story informed.  So, I'll make it worth your while for every person who leaves a comment or sends me an email I'll post a new picture of the kids. How do you comment? Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on comments. Type a message in the box and choose how you want to sign it. *If you sign as anonymous please put your name in the message box*  Then click post comment and you're done or you can also send me an email as my address is at the top right of the blog. Hurry, I'm excited, and I'm holding all of my many new pictures ransom and some of these you will NOT want to miss! There have been lots of things going on in the Wicker household, so new postings will follow soon. Have a blessed rest of the week and holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 6

3 Ring Circus

Where to begin? The Wicker home, “3 ring circus”, has been quite the busy household since my last post more than 7 weeks ago(it's going to be a long post!). It’s included, but not limited to, the following: a BIRTH day, hypoglycemia, nursing, jaundice, reflux, ER visit, 2nd hospital stay, protein allergy, stomach bug, physical therapy sessions, feeding therapy, walking, vacation, strawberry picking, errands, visits with friends, lots of meals from friends, dieting, and I could go on and on. Can you figure out who did what?

Our ABC’s, AKA the kids, are doing well. They have new nicknames in addition to being called “our ABC’s”: Cameron is “Tall”, Austin is “Grande”, and Bradley is “Venti”. We used to refer to the boys as the “little one” and “big one”, but that has become confusing with the addition of Cameron. When we’re texting back and forth we just use their 1st initial, but use the new nicknames when we don’t necessarily want them to know who we’re talking about. We could wait until they go to bed at night, but by then we’ve forgotten things after getting the “circus” to bed!  All in all we’re enjoying things here; there is never a dull moment and I certainly don’t ever lack something to do! God has been good to us, and with all of the stressful things that this last 7 weeks has brought there have been so many blessings and we’ve seen many examples of God’s will always being best.

So, onto the arrival of the “Tall” one who wasn’t really so tall.  Cameron was born via c-section 6 weeks ago. She weighed 7lbs 2 oz and was 19 inches. She wasn’t as big as they estimated, but my doctor was still glad that he decided to induce to avoid uterine rupture as that was still a lot of weight on my small frame. The delivery went well except for it being so long due to the scar tissue from my previous c-section with “Venti”. It took a long time, because my OB had to cut through all of the adhesions and then put some material in that should help prevent more from forming. Cameron’s delivery went well and shortly after I was allowed to nurse her in post-op. Then, her sugar started to drop (side effect that can occur from the mother having gestational diabetes) and she was put in special care nursery on an IV. She wasn’t allowed to come out, so the day after my delivery I started walking to her to nurse (I pumped the day of delivery and sent the milk to her since I was still strapped down to an IV and other things). She spent 2 days in special care and then was allowed to come down to my room which was so exciting as she came down when Chris and the boys were there for a visit. The boys were very excited to finally meet her. We were both just kept one extra day and sent home when she was 3 days old. When we went for her first well-check we found out she had jaundice, so she was put on phototherapy for treatment. The following day, Tuesday, she slept a lot. That night we started to have trouble waking her to eat, by midnight or so we became increasingly worried. We called the on-call number for our pediatrician office and checked her temp while we were on hold. Her temperature was 101.3, so they sent us to the ER where they did a septic workup that included lumbar puncture, x-ray, and blood work. We quickly found out that her jaundice had became worse even with the Bili blanket, and her blood work showed a virus that she probably got exposed to while in special care. So, they admitted her to the children’s hospital and put her on a Bili bed and Bili lights so that she would have treatment on the front and back of her body. She stayed on the phototherapy for 24 hours only being allowed to come out to nurse. The second day she became increasingly fussy, and they said they would keep us an additional night to figure out what was going on. She wouldn’t nurse and cried all Wednesday night and Thursday morning- more like screamed so much that I had them page the on-call resident to come see her at about 3 am. I didn’t know what was going on, but I was up there alone with her and nervous that something was really wrong. On Thursday, Chris called our pediatrician because our group only rounds on newborns. She said, knowing that both boys had a protein allergy (Bradley a milk one and Austin a milk and soy protein allergy), that it sounded like we were headed back down that road. Once one child has it in a family it’s highly likely that the others will as well. So, she told us to do a 24 hour trial of protein free formula and for me to exclusively pump to keep my milk supply up. So, we did that and within a few feedings Cameron was much calmer and eating better. So, I continued to pump for awhile to make sure that we were right about the protein allergy and there has been no denying that she does have it. Her reflux has been pretty bad as she refluxes out of her nose, so when she was 3 weeks old she was referred to an ENT to make sure that she didn’t have a sub mucosal cleft palate because reflux doesn’t usually come out of the nose if everything is fully closed. We were sent urgently to the ENT the next day and it was determined after scoping her in the office that she is fine. He did say that her reflux has caused a lot of swelling in her nasal passages and throat, and he wants to follow-up with her to make sure her ears stay clear and etc. She is on several medications for reflux and it has improved between being on formula and the medications, but like our 2 boys it’s just going to take time and growth for that sphincter to tighten up and her reflux to really get better. She is growing well and was 10 lbs at her last doctor’s visit which is great because she lost a lot of weight after birth with her special care and 2nd hospital stays. She started smiling at 4 weeks old and has started cooing some. We know way too much about development, after dealing with Austin, and everything seems to be right on track. We’re planning to have her baptized on Mother’s Day. If you remember when Austin was baptized last Mother’s Day it is our family tradition to do so. Chris, the boys and I were all baptized on Mother’s Day. Cameron has settled right into our home as if she has always been here! She is such a God given miracle in so many ways, and we are truly blessed. Thank you God for Cameron!

Our “Grande” has grown up so much since his new little sister was born. He has started WALKING! He walks most places now when we are at home. He can’t stand up without pulling up, so if he falls or chooses to sit down he has to crawl to something to pull up to stand. How amazing that just one year after coming home from the NICU our 24 week triplet, with a brain bleed, is walking! We weren’t sure and no one could tell us if he would definitely walk. God is so good! Austin has also impressed us with his eating abilities and has started eating table food. Another God given miracle! Austin still can’t eat everything, but each day he seems to eat something new. He does make quite the mess, because he still pushes a lot out with his tongue. And, he has learned to clear his palatal groove on his own which means that the food comes out of his mouth all the time, but cleaning that up is so much better than cleaning up vomit! The palatal groove is the arch in the top of your mouth that everyone has, however Austin’s is very high due to being on the ventilator for 3 weeks at birth. This groove has caused problems for him, as they do for most micro preemies, and food gets stuck up in there and causes him to gag and vomit. Now, most of the time, Austin reaches his finger up and pulls the food out all by himself. He is such a smart boy! Austin is now only having feeding therapy once a month, but physical therapy will continue weekly for now. His EI is only seeing him once a month now too, because he is doing so well. Austin tries to give Cameron her bottles, paci, and even rocks her in her car seat while saying, “rock, rock”. He seems to want our attention more since her arrival, but considering he is only 13 months adjusted now that is expected and definitely not a bad thing that he enjoys cuddling with us. Austin continues to amaze us daily as he develops new things. What a blessing and miracle that child is- that child that we didn’t know if he would live, if he would be able to ever come home, or if he would ever be able to do all of the things he is doing. Thank you God for Austin!

Our Venti is doing great, smart as can be. Bradley turned to me the other day and said, “Mama a square has 4 equal sides.” I was shocked, but so proud. That is just one tiny instance of what each day is like with him. We’ve been discussing making good choices and decisions and the ramifications of bad decisions. He understands it and is able to explain it to me. Bradley finished up his second season of soccer and is looking forward to another season next fall. We’ve been talking lots of walks, as a family, and Bradley often rides his Gator because he can’t ride his bike that far. He is doing great driving his Gator, knows to stop at stop signs, and stay on the right side of the rode. He looks so grown up when driving it. He also is doing well riding his bike with training wheels; he already needs a bigger bike because he has grown so much. He seems huge; he is wearing 5/5t clothes. He is a great big brother and helps out so much. Bradley sits between Austin and Cameron in the car and helps out giving her a paci and “shushing” her then handing Austin toys and making sure his bottle or cup (whatever he has at the time bc he is working on switching to a cup- another big deal I forgot to mention earlier) is turned right side up. Bradley continues to be very polite and uses manners. He doesn’t always say “mam” and “sir” to Chris and me as that is something we’re still working on, but I recently realized he is saying it to everyone else. I get so many compliments on how well behaved he is and that sure makes me very proud! I was invited to a Mother’s Tea at his school, so I took the babies and went to join Bradley for the little party. They sang some songs, including “Jesus Loves Me”, and he did great. He gave me some homemade potpourri with a sweet card that the kids made. He was so proud of himself and so excited to see me there. Bradley is such a blessing in so many ways, and he is quite the miracle too after trying for so long to have him when we wanted to start our family. Bradley is our constant strong child that always develops and does things as he should; he is just very easy especially as he gets older. We’re so grateful for our big boy; thank you God for Bradley!

Chris was on vacation for the first 2 weeks after Cameron was born, and it was great to have him home. We adjusted to having a new baby- YES it only took us a few days to adjust to having a 3rd child at home. It has been great. We laughed the 1st time we piled all the kids into the backseat; having 3 children is awesome! A big family is definitely what God intended for us. The recovery from my c-section was quick and easy. We were out walking the neighborhood before Cameron was a week old, and I was able to carry both babies up and down the stairs (without pain) when Chris returned to work. My doctor doesn’t give restrictions; he just says if it hurts don’t do it. I’m making it through, day by day, when Chris is at work. It is nice when he is off, but I’m happy that I’m making it on my own without help. Yay me!  ha ha The house may be a wreck, and I may be late getting supper on the table, but we consider it a successful day if the children are fed, rested, and we’re all smiling. I’ve even taken all 3 children off, by myself, multiple times. I’ve spent most of the last 2 years in the house, and I’m ready to get out and do things again. We’ve been to MOPS, strawberry picking, flower buying, out to eat, other things.

Summer is fast approaching, and our beach trip is only a month away. So excited! We’re trying to figure out how we’re going to get everything in the car for 3 children, but it’s a good problem to have! I have lots of pictures that I’ll have to post later. God is awesome. Our faith is strong in His will, and His grace is sufficient.